County Championship: Darren Stevens puts Kent on course for win

Darren Stevens
Darren Stevens was with Leicestershire from 1997 to 2004 before moving south to join Kent
LV= County Championship Division Two, Grace Road (close, day two)
Leicestershire 159 & 110-9: Raine 30no; Stevens 3-27, Haggett 3-28, Coles 3-37
Kent 210: Stevens 63; Freckingham 3-32, Shreck 3-50
Leicestershire lead by 59 runs
Leicestershire 3 pts, Kent 4 pts
Match scorecard

All-rounder Darren Stevens shone with both bat and ball to put Kent on course for victory on a hectic second day against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The 39-year-old hit a six and 12 fours in a vital innings of 63 as Kent posted 210 all out to earn a 51-run lead.

Stevens then took 3-27 as the home side found themselves in disarray in their second innings, crumbling to 66-7.

They looked in danger of a two-day defeat, but held on to reach 110-9 at the close, just 59 runs in front.

No bounce from victory
Since beating Essex by six wickets at the end of May to end a winless run stretching back to 2012, Leicestershire's form has again deserted them in the Championship.
Since then, they have lost by 178 runs to Surrey, an innings and 157 runs to Lancashire and 137 runs to Glamorgan - and managed to pass 250 only once in their six innings in those games.

Fifteen wickets fell during the second day, with Ollie Freckingham (3-32) and Charlie Shreck (3-50) the bowlers chiefly responsible for Kent's problems after they began on 44-2.

Freckingham's victims included Stevens, who was caught behind, but Adam Ball (32) and Calum Haggett (20) shared a stand of 60 in 11 overs to earn Kent a batting bonus point.

When Kent bowled, Stevens was well supported by Matt Coles and Haggett, who also claimed three wickets each, with Coles only needing one more for 10 in the match.

The home side have only won one game so far this season. Victory would enable them to leapfrog Leicestershire and move off the bottom of the table.

Leicestershire all-rounder Ben Raine told BBC Radio Leicester:

"We've got to still look to win, so me and Charlie (Shreck) will be going out tomorrow to get every run that we can.

"It's a pitch where the unthinkable could happen, so we've got to give ourselves every chance that it might.

"If we can get them four down early on, you never know in this game, so we've just got to try and get a total we can bowl at.

"It's long odds that we are going to get anything out of the game, but we're still fighting for that."

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